The gas present in the Valhall overburden crest area interferes with the seismic data and obscures the fault detection (minor faults). Spatially resolving fractures and fracture network is essential for subsurface understanding and future well placement in this field, and it is a critical input to the dynamic reservoir model. Additionally, mapping the fracture network in poor permeable reservoir formation beyond the wellbore is crucial to identify completion intervals to maximize productivity/injectivity, and hence field value. The well 2/8-F-18 A was drilled on the crest of the Valhall field as a pilot water injector in Lower Hod formation, where core and data analysis formed the foundation for a future potential 11 well development. The well is placed in the southern section of the Valhall crest, and no major faults or strong amplitude features were mapped out in the overburden via surface seismic before drilling.
In this case study, an integrated workflow is proposed and tested within the reservoir formation to identify “sweet” (permeable and fractured) zones beyond the wellbore. This is achieved using borehole acoustic data combined with image and ultrasonic imaging to characterize fracture networks beyond the borehole wall. The sonic imaging workflow identifies reflection events from fractures and faults and provides the true dip, azimuth, and location in 3-dimensions. This data is complemented by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), dielectric and spectroscopy data to understand reservoir petrophysics. NMR-derived permeability has also been evaluated for identifying high permeable zone in this formation, which primarily focuses on intergranular permeability of the formation a few inches away from the borehole wall. Reservoir textural heterogeneity and fractures beyond the wellbore wall make this method difficult to estimate or enhance the effective permeability estimate. The baseline assumption for the NMR permeability estimation is also not valid in Hod formation; the Timur and SDR equation needs significant change to match core permeability. Hence, the primary aim is to identify a fracture network that will help support water injection and maximize hydrocarbons production through them.
The goal is to establish a workflow from the learnings of this study, performed on the pilot well, validate its findings with the near-field data (core, imaging, and ultrasonic), and optimize it if needed (described in the methodology section). The developed workflow is then intended to be used to optimize the placement of future wells. The results achieved from the integrated workflow identified a key fault and mapped it approximately 23 meters away on each side of the borehole. It also captures acoustic anomalies (high amplitudes), validated based on near-field data, resulting from a fracture network potentially filled with hydrocarbons. The final results show the sub-seismic resolution of the fracture and fault network not visible on surface seismic due to the gas cloud above the reservoir and frequency effect on the surface seismic when compared to borehole sonic data. Evidently enhancing the blurred surface image, which helps enhance the structural and dynamic model of the reservoir.